Here Are 23 Greetings You Can Use Often in French


Elinor Zucchet

No matter the reason, groundwork must always be laid. Here, we'll break down the many different ways to greet someone in French and explain why you should learn them.

By the time you reach the conclusion of this article, you will have a firm grasp on the nuances of French greetings and be as at ease as a "poisson dans l'eau" (fish in water).

If you want to make friends in France, learning how to say hello in the language is essential.


It may be argued that times are changing, but la politesse is deeply ingrained in the French language and culture. Learning a few phrases in French can help even if you don't become fluent. Keeping this in mind, you may wish to bolster your sociability by incorporating some French slang into your greetings. Actually, this principle is universal and can be applied to any language.

When you travel internationally in the future, try greeting people in their native tongue. You can overcome your fear of speaking a new language just by looking at someone who is happy and smiling.

But let's get back to the meat of the matter; as the French say, revenons-en à nos moutons. Even if you don't learn much beyond "bonjour," you'll have the foundation you need to start talking to strangers and, who knows, make some friends

Wallpapers for phones, no cost

Say "bonjour" in French with the help of these free, downloadable desktop backgrounds. You can pick from three exciting patterns.

Learn to say hello in French with these free downloadable mobile phone wallpapers.

The French greetings of "bonjour" and "bonsoir" are among the most frequently used words in the language. The first is for daytime use, while the second is best saved for the evening. The informal use of "salut" is widespread as well. These are the most common forms of greeting taught to young students of French.

To review, with pronunciation:

Salut en français A recasting into English IPA phonetic transcription English speakers' pronounciation Use Bonjour Howdy, morning /bɑn ˈʒʊɹ/ bohn-jhoor Morning Bonsoir Thank you for your interest, and good night! /bõ swaːʁ/ bohn-swahr Evening Salut Hi/Hey/Hello /sɑˈlyː/ sah-loo Casual atmosphere

The International Phonetic Alphabet can help you pronounce French words like a native speaker. It's simple to pick up and will serve you well in the pursuit of any other language.

You'll see the IPA pronunciation next to a word whenever you look it up in a language book, dictionary, translator, or online resource, just like in the table above. Quickly, you'll be speaking French like a native.

Let's take a look at some alternative ways of saying "hello" and "how are you" in French, with their English pronunciations.

French: English Pronunciation Amazed and delighted to meet you. Hello, my name is ___, and it's a pleasure to meet you. pronunciation: (pronounced: (duh-fair-vo-truh-co-nay-sanse) / ahn-shant-ay/ I can't wait to get to know you. It's great to finally meet you! ravee-duh-fair-vo-truh-co-nay-sanse Please address any correspondence to "Monsieur" or "Madame" Sir/Madam meuh-sieur/ma-dam

French: English: Pronunciation: Coucou Hey there coo-coo What's new How are things quah-du-nuff Ça roule Where do we stand sa-rule How do you feel? In what way are you doing como-vah-tu To your health! I hope you're well. tu-va-be-unh What's nice So, what's up quah-du-bo Ça baigne The question is: how are things going sah-banyuh Salut toi Hey you sah-lu-twah Hello, lovely Good day, lovely (feminine) sah-lu-mah-bell "Greetings, Sir/Madame" Howdy, kiddo (slang for "kid"). sah-lu-mon-gran/sah-lu-mah-grand Please accept my greetings, puppy. Hello, dear (typically a child) sah-lu-mah-puce

French: English Pronunciation Ça va In what way are you doing sah-vah Where do you think you're going? How are you doing como-allay-voo What's up, how's it going? How are you doing como-sa-vah You're doing fine, right? Greetings, how are things going with you voo-za-le-be-unh Bienvenue Welcome the sound of ee-ehn veh-noo This has been going on for quite some time now. Time has passed since we last spoke. sah-feh-lun-ton On the phone, it's allô. Hello ah-low

French: English: Pronunciation: Happy Holidays Happy Holidays! juah-yew-no-el Greetings and a Happy New Year! Best wishes for the coming year! bon-ahn-ne Wishing you a merry holiday season : Happy Holidays! juah-yews-fet Happy Easter All the best for the Easter holiday! juah-yews-pack Happy Birthday to You! To the birthday boy or girl: juah-yews-ani-vers-air

In France, the ubiquitous "bise" exists even in the absence of COVID. The French traditionally greet each other with a kiss on both cheeks, which can be awkward for visitors. And it's not just for saying hi to people. Though the custom of shaking hands is widespread in the French business world, it is not uncommon for colleagues, whether male or female, to se faire la bise instead.

Is it true  

Where you are and how many kisses you exchange can have a significant impact on how you feel. If you want to avoid an awkward silence, wait for the other person to initiate conversation. Don't freak out if it does occur. The French are not immune.

Making faux pas is an inevitable part of learning a new culture or language. Some, however, can be prevented.

Mistake No. 1: Showing excessive enthusiasm

You, the reader, can rejoice, because this applies to you. While the French are known for their politeness, they may give you a strange look if you appear overly enthusiastic. Québec is a different story altogether, with friendlier locals than the rest of Canada.

The second most common faux-pas is switching "tu" and "vous" around in conversation.

While this is not a concern in the English language, it is essential that French speakers learn to properly display social graces. The more formal "vous" is typically reserved for interactions between strangers. When in doubt, always address the other person with "vous" and ask, "Puis-je vous tutoyer?" (May I address you with "tu"? )

Mistake No. 3: A Hug Instead of a Bise

Many tourists find la bise to be unnerving. First of all, in France, hugging is reserved for the closest of friends and family because it is considered an invasion of privacy.

Speaking of social gaffes, these suggestions may help you avoid "mettre les pieds dans le plat" (to put one's foot in one's mouth) at a French dinner party.

We're hoping that, in addition to learning how to say "bonjour!" in French, you've also picked up some of the rudiments of French culture from this article. When you meet a French speaker in the future, you can rest assured that you will make a fantastic first impression with the help of these greeting resources.

Don't forget to return to our French vocabulary blog for more engaging learning opportunities.

Now all that's left to say is, "Au revoir et à bientôt."

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